OPA annual churning meeting at Barog Heights

Hotel Barog Heights is located at a height of 2043 metres above the mean sea level on a pretty hill

OPA annual churning meeting at Barog Heights
OPA Members after churning meeting at Barog Heights.

Ludhiana: The Annual Churning Meeting of OPA was organized at Hotel Barog Heights, near Solan in Himachal Pradesh on 15-16 February, 2020. About 26 OPA members attended this two day meeting to discuss and plan the activities of the association. The meeting was heavily subsidized, interested OPA members contributed only 50% charges i.e. Rs. 1500/-. The venue of the meeting Hotel Barog Heights is located at a height of 2043 metres above the mean sea level on a pretty hill. Just 60 kms from Chandigarh on Kalka – Shimla highway overlooking Dagshai, Kasauli, Solan at footstep. Due to its height, temperatures here range between 23 to 10 °C during summers and between 15 to 5 °C during winters. 

Scenic beauty of Barog, midway to Shimla from Chandigarh, though it  has lost some of its luster with the new bypass from Kumarhatti to Solan which does not touch this sleepy little hamlet of Himachal.
The story of this small city is quite different; Barog was settled in the early 20th century during the building of the narrow gauge Kalka-Shimla Railway. It is named after Colonel Barog, an engineer involved in building the railway track in 1903. Barog was responsible for designing a tunnel near the railway station. He commenced digging the tunnel from both sides of the mountain, which is quite common as it speeds up construction. However, he made mistakes in his calculation and while constructing the tunnel, it was found that the two ends of the tunnel did not meet. Barog was fined an amount of 1 Rupee by the British government. Unable to withstand the humiliation, Barog committed suicide. He was buried near the incomplete tunnel which is still available just 1 k.m. away from the present tunnel. The area came to be known as Barog after him.

OPA member also visited the famous tunnel.

Later the tunnel was constructed under Chief Engineer H.S. Harrington’s supervision guided by a local sage, Bhalku, in a short period from July 1900 to September 1903 at a cost 8.40 Lakh. This tunnel is the longest of the 103 operational tunnels on the route of the Shimla-Kalka Railway, which is 1143.61m long. Barog station is immediately after the tunnel. Barog tunnel is the straightest tunnel in the World. Trains take about 2.5 minutes to cross this tunnel, running at 25 km per hour. The economy of Barog is primarily dependent upon tourists, who come here due to its cool climate and close vicinity from Chandigarh. Barog is also influenced economically by the nearby Lawrence School, Sanawar. Barog also serves as a fitness camp for the Indian National Hockey and other athletic teams.

Speaking on the purpose of the meeting away from their place of work, Prof. Kamal Chopra, General Secretary said, stress and tension have been linked to numerous ailments, including heart disease, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and substance abuse. Stress can also trigger a number of distinct physical symptoms, including nausea, headache, hair loss, fatigue, and muscle pain. Relaxation has been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of stress-related diseases and disorders in many patients. Taking these facts in mind and just to enjoy the Panoramic View of the Hills & valleys that unfolds themselves for the fantastic view, OPA decided to conduct the Churning meeting at Hotel Barog Heights (Near Kasauli). Prof. Chopra added that the interested members were intimated to reach before 12.00 noon so that the executive meeting may be started at 3.00 p.m. after lunch. The Churning meeting was started immediately after the executive meeting of OPA at about 5.00 p.m. after tea. All the members present there were supposed to give their point of view, opinions and comments one by one independently. It was essential for all the present to say something about his working, problems and/or about printing industry. All such points were discussed in detail on the following day i.e. 16th February, 2020.

The two day meeting remained highly educative as well as relaxing, orated by the members. 
The major points of discussion in this meeting remained the ‘future printing’, ‘slump in the market’, ‘increasing stiff competition’ and requirement of technical training and educative seminars for the knowledge of the printers. It was agreed by the members that now time is there for working in close cooperation in a cluster at one end and to start purchasing in bulk to save the cost of raw materials. At the same time it is essential to request the government for providing electricity at subsidized rates and to impose duty on printed goods coming from other countries. Printing industry of the region is getting threats not only from the neighbouring SEZ but also from China. The manufacturers of the region are not only getting their products manufactured from China but its packaging is also being imported from China. In such a situation it is becoming difficulty for the local printers to withstand the competition but it is the matter of survival of the printing and packaging industry of the region.